Gemma Farrell is a long-time yoga practitioner who has studied various styles of yoga, including Iyengar, Sivananda, Jivamukti, Yin, Insight, and Integral yoga. Her current approach to teaching yoga fuses the precise alignment principles of Iyengar yoga with the freedom and creativity of a Vinyasa Flow practice, and incorporates the deeper release stretching and meditative aspects of Yin yoga.
Gemma sees yoga as a vehicle for self-discovery and a means for increasing our awareness of the present moment, cultivating wisdom and compassion, and above all, opening our hearts to love and serve others.
Jennifer Galgano is a former college and professional basketball player. She has been practicing yoga since 2001. However it was through her experiences with Vinyasa Flow that she discovered a powerful, yet invigorating practice that began an amazing journey of self-discovery.
Jennifer sees yoga as a means to cultivate peace and compassion towards oneself and others, to open our hearts to love, to find self-acceptance and to bring a sense of balance into our lives both on the yoga mat as well as into our daily lives.
Jennifer’s approach to teaching incorporates alignment along with the creativity and freedom of Vinyasa Flow. Her teaching style incorporates modifications and variations for all students.
Jennifer has completed over 300 teacher training hours and continues to study with Baron Baptiste and various other master teachers. Jennifer also holds a 100 hour Prenatal Yoga certification.
Susan Finegold trained to teach Iyengar-style yoga with Joanne Carter and Carol Cook of Simply Yoga in Kingston, NJ, with whom she continues to study. She has also studied with Bobbi Goldin, Dean Lerner, and Kevin Gardner.
Natalia Gali discovered Iyengar yoga as a college student. Her commitment to Vinyasa practice grew in Princeton under the guidance of her Power Vinyasa teacher John Frank. She studied Ashtanga Vinyasa and Classical Astanga Yoga with applied yogic sciences in Mysore, India, where she received her Teacher Certification. She credits her Asana teacher, Chidananda, with taking her practice to a deeper physical and spiritual level and and her guru, Venkateshiah, with providing her with the knowledge of yogic philosophy and an example of living a truly yogic life. Natalia has experience in Pranayama and Sanskrit Chanting and has explored advanced meditation techniques. Yoga has become a source of inspiration for creating her artwork and a vehicle for transformation in her life.
Gina McLaughlin has been teaching yoga in the Princeton area for more than 12 years. She has studied at the Sivananda Ashram and Kripalu, and also with Baron Baptiste, Rodney Yee, and Shiva Rea. Gina’s classes are energetic and physically challenging with an emphasis on honoring one’s self without judgment. Traditional and upbeat music with lyrics that are meant to inspire is a hallmark of her classes. Her greatest joy is hearing from her students how their yoga practice has enriched their lives.
Annie Isaacson has completed Level 1 and 2 training with Baron Baptiste, and has also trained in Anusara Yoga with John Friend, Power Yoga with Bryan Kest, and Alignment & Assisting based on Anatomy with Gregor & Claire Singleton. Annie attributes her knowledge & experience to her “best teachers”- her family, friends and students. She lives her life by this one rule, “the best way to become a great teacher of life is to be an excellent student of life!”
For Elizabeth Scura, yoga easily became a way of life. Its fluid movement and ability to ease stress while opening the body and calming the mind became a necessity. After many years of experiencing back pain from scoliosis, she realized the incredible healing benefits of yoga when she replaced her chiropractor with a daily yoga practice. It was then that she decided to become a yoga instructor so she could help others as well. Prior to teaching yoga, Elizabeth spent her time working as a preschool and toddler teacher at Princeton Montessori School and the YWCA. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art and loves photography, drawing and watercolor. She is certified in both child and adult yoga and is presently enrolled in her third 200 hour teacher training in Hot Hatha/Vinyasa Yoga. Some of her teachers include Brian Kest, Seane Corn, and Shiva Rea. In her classes she encourages students to focus on breath mindfulness, emphasizing the importance of alignment. Elizabeth offers private yoga classes and teaches at studios and schools in the Princeton area.
Marina Long is an AFAA-certified instructor and personal trainer. She has been teaching Pilates and other group exercise classes for over ten years. She is also an AAAI-ISMA-certified Mind/Body personal trainer. In addition to teaching at fitness studios, for the last four years Marina has been working with college student athletes teaching Pilates and basic yoga to baseball pitchers, basketball players, equestrians, lacrosse players, golfers, and swimmers. Marina is a firm believer in the benefits of cross-training. She finds yoga and Pilates indispensable parts of any fitness regimen designed to keep body and mind young, healthy, and full of joy.
Arthur (Ato) Co is a chef and martial artist who has been practicing the martial arts since he was eight years old. Originally Chinese, born in the Philippines, he studied Southern Shaolin style of Ngo Cho Kun kung fu at the Heng Han Kung Fu School in Manila. In his twenties, Ato followed his dream to become an American citizen and immigrated to the US in 1984. He owns Sakura Express Japanese Restaurant in downtown Princeton.
Melissa Rumianowski has practiced various forms of yoga and studied with David Goulet and Cheryl Delaney. Her style is a blend of the Science of Yoga, vinyasa flow, and vipassana meditation. Melissa feels that yoga is a way to find a peaceful union of dualities: light with dark, complex with simple, strength with vulnerability, and one’s self with divine oneness. Her practice allows space for an undercurrent of deep observant stillness alongside playful asana flows. She welcomes her students to begin their practice on the mat, leave behind anything that doesn’t serve them, and take home a feeling of gratitude and presence.
Dayanand Steward has been a student of yoga since 1997. He has spent half his life studying various traditions which he incorporates into the Hatha Ashtanga yoga practice he teaches today. Dayanand is a preserver of the Krishnamarcharya lineage following in the steps of K. Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India and B.K.S. Iyengar of Pune, India. Dayanand’s background includes studying Buddhism, Shamanism, Bhakti and traditional Hatha yoga in India. Starting in 1997, he began the practice of Southern Dragon style Kung Fu and soon went in the direction of Yoga Asana practice. After practicing alone daily for two years he found his first teacher, Christopher Hildebrant, teacher and student of K. Pattabhi Jois. After daily practice and in-depth study of the Yoga chikitsa (therapy) and Nadi Shodhana (Nervous system cleansing) sequence of Mysore Ashtanga Yoga,he attended Yoga Sutra NYC School of Advanced Yogic Studies to receive his teaching certification under the guidance of Guta Hedewig, Carl Harlwitz, Christopher Hildebrant, Srivatsa Ramaswami, and Edwin Bryant. Realizing this was not enough education to spread the teachings of yoga, Dayanand set off for Amritapuri Ashram on the Southern tip of India on the coast of the Arabian sea. Here he lived with his Guru Mata Amritananda Mayi Devi A.K.A. Amma the Hugging Saint. Living the traditional life of a Bramhachari he learned the deepest teachings of the Yogic life and after being blessed by his guru he returned to New York where he began to transmit his knowledge to students daily, one on one. With a hunger for more knowledge he set off for India again and studied with Santhosh Kumar in Mysore, India the world capital for Ashtanga Yoga.This time he learned the Kriyas (body purification rites) of Hatha Yoga, the medicinal values of each pose in his sequence, the powerful practice of Pranayama (breath control), and the ancient art of Ayurvedic Tantric massage. Returning to his hometown in Hamilton, NJ, Dayanand has begun to educate and empower yogis almost daily whether in classroom settings or at the park one on one. With half a lifetime of experience, he continues to optimize his practice to make it safe and available for everyone. Dayanand is an avid student of both Western and Eastern philosophy, and is presently returning to school to increase his skills in massage therapy and other forms of energetic body therapies. His ability to juxtapose various viewpoints, without losing the depth and integrity of each, has helped him develop a unique, direct teaching style.
Fran Swart’s yoga practice has brought a sense of balance, calm and ease to her life. Her personal yoga and meditation practices inspire her in teaching and in daily living. She feels that through the mindful practice of yoga on the mat, we can learn to bring mindful awareness to our lives, allowing us to live more fully and to appreciate the richness of life each day.
Fran is a registered yoga teacher [RYT] with Yoga Alliance and teaches yoga to both adults and children. She completed her 200-hour teacher training at Four Winds Yoga with Jill Gutowski and Mike Brantl. In addition to the inspiration she has taken from Jill and Mike, her practice and teaching style are strongly influenced by a variety of teachers, including Ana Forrest, Angela Farmer and Sally Kempton.
She brings compassion to her teaching and encourages students to set aside self-judgment in order to make room for self-exploration. She shares her joy and passion for yoga to inspire students to connect to the place of stillness and beauty that lies within each of us.
Greg began practicing yoga in 2010 through the mentorship of his voice teacher Mark Moliterno. This connection between yoga and the voice sparked a deeper interest in the connection of body and mind and the personal freedom that it can bring. He earned his teaching certification through Amazing Yoga, a Baptiste Power Yoga affiliate and continues to study Vinyasa Flow, Ashtanga, and Anusara yoga styles. The son of two physical therapists, Greg has always been interested in teaching efficient alignment and healthy body mechanics. In his classes, he encourages people to move their bodies in a healthy and non-judgmental way, and finds particular joy in empowering students to find freedom and confidence on-and-off the mat.
A recent transplant from California, Yanoula Athanassakis has been practicing and studying yoga for a decade and teaching in CA studios for six years. She came to yoga first through studying Tibetan Buddhism with B. Alan Wallace and later in Illinois she began the physical practice. Yanoula did her Yoga Alliance hours with Erich Schiffman, Sarah Powers, Scott Blossom, and Paul Grilley among others. In addition, she counts the many fantastic classes and teachers she has experienced as continued education. Since initially becoming certified in 2006, Yanoula has evolved her practice and knowledge base through a variety of modules on the anatomy, philosophy, and history of yoga.
Yanoula’s classes aim to be challenging and fun with a strong flow but soft approach, and continued attention to the fundamentals of yoga (breath, movement, alignment).
Yoga has a positive influence in Lori Dinneny’s life and encourages her to “just be present” one moment at a time. She completed teacher training certification with AMAZING YOGA and teaches a Baptiste Inspired Vinyasa Flow. Lori has participated in two Anusara Immersions, attended workshops with Elena Brower, Bryan Kest, and Sally Kempton. As a teacher, Lori hopes to share and encourage others on the path of yoga so that they can practice honoring themselves and can experience peace, joy, love and gratitude in their daily lives. Lori also is an RN and works part time in an OB/GYN practice. Through her work with patients she has seen the need for a balance between the scientific nature of pregnancy and celebration of the mother-baby connection with the mind, body and spirit. Inspired by her obstetric patients, Lori became certified to teach Prenatal Yoga. Lori is grateful for the guidance and encouragement that her own yoga teachers have given her, and she is most grateful to her family , who continue to support and inspire her yoga journey. They are her greatest JOY!
Brigitte Aflalo-Calderon has been playing yoga with kids for 12 years. She teaches in Montessori schools, day-care centers & yoga studios in the US and France. Her teaching encourages creativity, spontaneity and camaraderie. When she isn’t teaching, she is writing stories for children. For more information, please feel free to contact Brigitte at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Katie Manbachi discovered yoga for the first time in 2007 while recovering from a torn ACL. She was enamored with the vast physical and mental benefits yoga offered. Every time she stepped onto her mat she was not only faced with a physical challenge, but also received mental clarity, peace, and acceptance. She completed her teacher training in 2011 and as been teaching yoga ever since! Katie truly believes yoga has something to offer each and every person and is passionate about sharing the mental and physical benefits of the practice through her teaching.
About Menlha Kadampa Buddhist Center:
Menlha Center is a member of the New Kadampa Tradition – International Kadampa Buddhist Union, offering meditation classes, prayers, and study programs Lambertville and other parts of Central NJ and Eastern PA. Menlha’s classes at Gratitude Yoga are taught by Gen Kelsang Wangden, an American Buddhist monk and a close disciple of Ven. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Gen Wangden has been studying and practicing Kadampa Buddhism for over 15 years. Through his example and practical approach, he shows how to apply Buddha’s teachings in daily life.
Bill Boyle, the Princeton Area Zen Group teacher, has been a member of the group since its inception. In 2005, he completed his koan study with the founding teachers and now offers dharma talks and weekly interviews (dokusan).